The Chief Executive of a leading Welsh charity has been appointed to the role of Honorary Professor at Swansea University.

Roy Thomas, Chief Executive of Kidney Wales, started his role in the College of Human and Health Sciences on March 1st 2017. Mr Thomas has been involved in the charity, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, since 1983 and is currently marking this significant anniversary by walking 450 miles as part of the charity’s Walk around Wales campaign.

A team of three volunteer walkers are currently trekking around the entirety of Wales, visiting every Welsh dialysis centre on route to meet some of the 10,000 patients affected by kidney disease in Wales and the staff that support them. Today (21st April 2017), the Kidney Wales team visited the renal unit in Moriston Hospital after starting the Walk on Tuesday at Cardiff Castle. In just two days the volunteer walkers have clocked up almost 50 miles and have already raised £14,000 towards their £150,000 fundraising target.

From Swansea, the volunteers will carry on their journey west, stopping in Llannon and Haverfordwest among other locations, before heading further north to Aberystwyth where celebrations will be held with the support of St Padarns, RC Primary School.

From the seaside scenery of west Wales to the glorious countryside of mid Wales, the team will then head towards Machynlleth before heading further north. After walking almost 100 miles across north Wales, taking in Groeslon and Chirk, the team will begin their long journey south, stopping in Llandrindod, Brecon and Merthyr, before concluding their quest in fitting style on Wednesday 17th May at the Kidney Wales Children’s Centre at the University Hospital of Wales.

The charity is aiming to raise vital funds to support the creation of a wellness centre to support kidney patients and their families enjoy some respite, as the ease of going on holiday is significantly impacted when dialysis is required on a weekly basis.

Commenting on his appointment Roy Thomas said: “Swansea University is a world class educational establishment and I am honoured to be appointed by the University especially as being a Glynneath boy it’s my local University.

“Both my nephew and son have attended Swansea University so I’ve seen first-hand that it provides excellence to graduates and post graduates with high standards of academic research. I look forward to making a contribution as it continues to go from strength to strength. ”

He added: “We have ongoing plans to continue supporting kidney research and have a strong team to deliver teaching and research on important issues in health.”

Chantal Patel, Head of Inter-professional studies at College of Human and Health Sciences at Swansea University said “We are delighted at Roy’s appointment and are excited about the opportunities our collaboration will bring. Our focus will be on developing /exploring the thorny issues around organ donation. Roy’s knowledge will be an asset to our team at CHHS.”